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Primary school visits

(5 Posts)
Rollergirl1 Tue 08-Sep-09 11:46:32

Does anyone know of a generic checklist of questions to ask when going on school visits for a primary school for my DD? Would really appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction.

BuckRogers Tue 08-Sep-09 12:18:02

-Extra curricular activities (clubs etc)
-On the same topic ask about what school led activities off premises such as speaking & listening comps with other schools or debating comps.
-Ask about sports teams.
-Ask about TA support in each class
-Ask about class sizes and how tight the catchment area is.
-Trips to complement the curriculum.
-Do the school accept student teachers? If they are within a university catchment area and do not accept students I'd take this as a bad sign.

Look at displays. Are they recent and of children's work? Or are they just permanent info displays.

Do the children seem happy and engaged? Be wary of a school that is too quiet as well as one that seems unruly.

Good Luck

mellifluouscauliflower Tue 08-Sep-09 22:59:52

If it is a state community primary ask what the exact criteria is for entry, how many got in on each criteria and how far away the furthest candidate lived (and for a few previous years if you can push it). Where we live there is little point in applying if you wouldn't have qualified for entry over the last 3 years.

For state church schools, ask what their entry criteria is and how regular church attendance is interpreted (every week, once a month?) etc

Useful to know about existence of breakfast/after school care - ask if there is a waiting list if you think you want to use it in Reception.

Ask about what happens in the first term (some school's arrangements are very difficult for working parents - all are to some extent).

If you child has a post-January birthday, ask what their stance on under 5's is. (Some schools are more supportive of late starting than others)

Ask about provision at both ends of the academic spectrum.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

smee Wed 09-Sep-09 11:41:40

We found it a bit like looking round a house, so you kind of know as soon as you go in if you're going to like it or not. Main thing for us was watching the children and how they seemed. The school we chose had a lousy ofsted, but the children were smiling, working independently and sensibly, polite but fun and there was evidence of lots of art and activities round the school. Turned out we were right, as the school's since recieved an outstanding ofsted. Lots of parents near us didn't apply as they went purely on the old one. Not that Ofsted means diddly squat in some ways, but instinct and knowing your child is really what matters.

MrsL76 Fri 11-Sep-09 09:07:06

Sorry to jump on this thread, but I wondered if anyone could tell me whether you should take your child along to these inital meetings or if it's best to leave them at home?

I'm seeing 3 schools and not sure if it should be just me and husband or if we should take our child too.

Many thanks,

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